Welcome back to another week of The Waiver Wire! It’s been a couple of weeks since we chatted about fantasy hockey. I hope everyone had a lovely holiday and a happy new year. This week, Duchene continues to struggle and Gagner sticks it to Edmonton. So let's take a look at our disappointments, pleasant surprises and my shot in the dark.
Matt Duchene – COL – C, LW – 94% owned
Many of us have watched Matt Duchene struggle in the past few weeks. He is currently in the middle of a ten game goalless drought. Last year, during a similar drought, Duchene at least put up a bunch of assists and was being productive. This time, it is not the case. In the last 6 games, Duchene is 0-3-3 and is even on +/-. During a Denver Post interview, Duchene didn’t seem worried. “A lot of crossbars, a lot of posts, but know what, I'm not too worried about it. I went 24 games with one last year, and still had a good season. I've learned by now that this game is full of peaks and valleys. It's how you deal with the valleys that's important. You just try and get better, you try and stay positive." Although I don’t disagree with him, his fantasy owners can only hope he starts to get some more bounces.
Alex Pietrangelo – STL – D – 96% owned
Many believe that Alex Pietrangelo may have a couple Norris trophies in his future. I don’t particularly disagree, but these last two weeks, he hasn’t really acted like it. In 6 games, Pietrangelo put up 1-0-1 and was +1 while averaging almost 24 minutes of ice time per game. Interestingly enough, he only had 1 hit in 6 games. I know Pietrangelo isn’t the most physical player, but 1 hit in 6 games just seems odd. He did have 15 blocks though, so at least he is blocking some shots if you’re in a league where that helps. I’m sure his production will ramp up soon. Sometimes it really is just luck.
Patrick Marleau – SJ – C, LW – 96% owned
Oh Mr. Marleau. You had a really tough outing in the last two weeks, and unsurprisingly, the Sharks are 2-3 during these last two weeks (2-4 if you count the game on the 22nd). During these two weeks, in 5 games, Marleau put up 0-1-1 and was -3. Some of this may be because his buddy, Jumbo Joe, has missed the last two games and played 3 minutes in another game after leaving with an injury. One of the tricky parts about fantasy is injury luck, and how team injuries affect the players that you have. Marleau seems to be on the not so great side of that coin. Hopefully his production picks up for you, because he’s not really a name you want to drop. Unfortunately, Jumbo Joe is on the IR and as of right now, he doesn’t seem to have much of a time table.
The Pleasant Surprises
Sam Gagner – ARI – C, RW – 8% owned
Heyyyyyyyyy, look at Sam Gagner finally sticking it to the Oilers!! Wait, the Oilers don’t want to win? Oh… well everyone is happy then! Gagner had a hell of a week last week, putting up 4-4-8 while being +4 in 5 games. The Coyotes are still… uh… terrible, but at least Gagner has been awesome (and really, most of them the past couple weeks). Will he keep scoring like this? Probably not. I don’t think Arizona has what it takes to get past a top 5 pick, let alone back into the playoffs. Then again, crazier things have happened. He’s worth a pick up because he has some flexibility, but don’t expect much.
Ondrej Palat – TB – LW – 61% owned
Holy assist machine. Usually I like to stay a bit lower than 61% owned for my pleasant surprises, but this guy had such a good week, that he needed to be included. Ondrej Palat, in 6 games, went 1-10-11 and was +7 in 6 games! None of his assists were power play assists. Holy shit. That’s awesome as that directly impacts +/-. If you needed power play points, well bummer. Congrats to you, Palat, for nailing double digit assist numbers in 10 games. Will he keep it up? Doubtful. But it wouldn’t surprise me to see him continue to put up good numbers.
Vernon Fiddler – DAL – C, LW – 1% owned
There were a couple guys that I was going back and forth over this spot on, but I decided on Vernon Fiddler because he is the 1%. In 6 games, he put up 1-2-3 and was +1. He also had 22 shots, 6 hits and 5 blocked shots. Those are some really good secondary stats and if you were part of the 1% that owned Fiddler, then you probably got some good value out of him. Like most of the Stars (sup Erik Cole) he’s just riding the hot streak, but that position flexibility never hurts.
Shot in the Dark
Colton Sceviour – DAL – C, RW – 1% owned
It’s time to play the game of “who gets to play with Tyler Seguin and Jamie Benn?” And this time, it is Colton Sceviour. I can’t really tell you much about him. What I can tell you is he went 2-2-4 in the past two weeks and is getting time with Seguin and Benn currently. I can also tell you that Dallas is scoring and winning a lot lately. May not be a terrible add.
Well folks, that about wraps it up. What fantasy players are frustrating you? Who is saving your team? Who do you have an eye on? Let me know what you want to see next week on The Waiver Wire.